Bulletin Issue 3: Bridging the Border
A U.S.-Mexico collaboration bringing factual news and critical resources for families on the border. Click here to view our past bulletins and learn more about our work!
Holiday Campaign: Teachers and Tablets for Children at the Border
Two young girls complete classwork together, seated at a bright yellow booth. (Deijuven)
A young boy seated at a desk watches an educational video.
We have launched a holiday campaign! FESAC Nogales is partnering with two nonprofits, Deijuven and Casa de Misericordia, to support children’s education at the border. These NGOs have established educational programs that provide the necessary resources (wifi, educators, extracurriculars, etc.) to children in this border community. The pandemic has closed Mexican schools for the next 9 months thus denying them access to education, but they deserve more. The funds raised will be used to hire more educators and purchase tablets to support virtual learning.

What we have: 
  • Facilities: 11 classrooms 
  • Internet access 
  • 1 educator  
  • 40 students and their committed families 
What your critical support can fund: 
  • 1 tablet: $329 
  • 40 tablets: $13,160 
  • 6 months of 1 teacher’s salary: $1,800 
  • 6 months of 2 teachers’ salaries: $3,600 
  • Educational supplies: $3,240 
Total needed to meet the educational needs of 120 children = $20,000 

Join us in this campaign to make it happen!
The Pandemic at the Border series highlights the impacts of Covid-19 at the border. Our reporter Kerry McCulloch–MPH student and FESAC volunteer– will provide updated information and personal stories about the pandemic at the border. To read the full article and learn more about Ana Paola's experience with COVID-19, click here.
Resiliency at the Border: COVID-19 Through the Eyes of Ana Paola
Ana Paola poses mid-painting to showcase her artwork.
Ana Paola feeds her sister, Elizabeth, a cupcake.
Earlier this month I sat down to meet (over Zoom) with Ana Paola and her mother, Gaby, who live in Nogales, Mexico along with Gaby’s husband, Jose, and Ana Paola’s baby sister, Elizabeth. I wanted to interview them for a number of reasons: to learn about their experience having COVID-19, to better understand the disease’s broader effects on their family and community, and to see how the pandemic has impacted children. Ana Paula is eight years old and she’s also on the autism spectrum. 

As we began our Zoom meeting, I asked Ana Paola to tell me what she enjoys doing and she immediately started talking about painting. Painting has been a tool her psychologist suggested to help channel anxiety. Most of us have experienced heightened levels of anxiety during the pandemic, but it is different, and harder, for people on the autism spectrum-- anxiety can amplify core autism traits. Ana Paola’s anxiety initially manifested in the cutting of her own hair, then cutting her clothes, and finally as self-biting, at which point her parents knew they needed to seek more support. 

Ana Paola showed me her colorful watercolor paintings and they are all about connection-- each one of her paintings has the name of one of her friends, family members, or teachers. Every drawing she shared sparked a small conversation about the person for whom she’s dedicated the painting. The happiness with which she expressed love for her community of friends, teachers, and family was palpable.  

Having experienced loneliness, isolation, and disconnection from my own friends and family during this pandemic, I am humbled by the wisdom in the simple, but meaningful way in which she feels deeply connected to others despite not having in-person time with friends and teachers. Her joyful spirit gives me hope and reminds me that we can be physically separated from those we love and still stay connected.

Written by Kerry McCulloch; Photos provided by Ana Paola's family
Featured Community Agency: BYTE's Jacksubeli
Jacksubeli Gonzalez is a Nogales, Sonora native and works with Border Youth Tennis Exchange (BYTE), an established binational NGO and FESAC partner. From Educational Assistant to Director of Mexican Operations, she has been with the organization since 2016, her role changing as the organization grows. BYTE supports children’s education in the borderlands region through tech-based enrichment curriculums, facilitated by bilingual local educators in non-traditional teaching spaces, such as gymnasiums and public parks. Their lesson plans highlight soft-skill learning, digital storytelling, and personal narrative, with activities and projects designed for collaboration and sharing between cohorts and across the border*.

Jacksubeli’s work and passion for art, culture, and education are undeniable in the way she discusses and approaches her work. She would like more people to know that “a child is not an object that you need to fill with things...they can teach you things too and share their own perspective of the world. Education should not be boring, but fun and engaging!” To educators, she emphasizes that “creativity is not solely for art, but must be in everything we do, as there are many ways to educate.” May we all listen to her wise words as we work together to support children’s education!

*Adapted from their website, click here to view
Written by Nancy Lopez-Alvarez; Photo provided by Jacksubeli Gonzalez
Blog and Website Published!
We published a website to provide more information about The Nogales Project, introduce the team, and make our past bulletins accessible to you! You can also find more in-depth versions of the bulletin features on our new blog.
Notes From Subscribers
"Thanks for sharing. I had no idea about all the good work that's going on."

Barbara Monsegur, PhD, Diocese of Tucson, The Catholic University of America

"The Coronavirus pandemic has dealt grief across the world. This is especially true in the border community of Nogales, Sonora where none of the traditional volunteers and services that the people of the border desperately relied upon are still available. Only FESAC, a Mexican non profit organization continues to serve the needs of those whom this terrible pandemic has so horribly impacted." 

Anthony Sedgwick, President Santa Fe Ranch Foundation, Nogales, AZ

"FESAC its US partners and student volunteers are a unique asset to the cause of refugee rights and opportunities for resettlement in Mexico. It is important to help local NGOs find local solutions by developing local leadership and collaboration among NGOs to meet the challenges of migration, violence against women, poverty, climate change and a pandemic."
Eunice Rodriguez, DrPH, Associate Professor, General Pediatrics, Stanford University

"FESAC, with its emphasis on 'social investment,' is a living manifestation of the concept that if you give someone a fish, they'll eat for a day, but if you help them learn to fish and help them get the tools, they'll feed themselves and others around them for a lifetime."
Dan Anderson, Author, Attorney, former Judge Tucson, AZ
How To Support
FESAC Nogales | fesacmedia@gmail.com | Website